Arditti Quartet Marathon

Works by Rebecca Saunders, Iannis Xenakis, Olga Neuwirth and others – Hamburg International Music Festival

Arditti Quartet
Arditti Quartet © Manu Theobald

Keeping it modern for 50 years

The Arditti Quartet is the leading string quartet of the modern age. Its musicians have premiered more than 1,000 works since 1974 and collaborated with a number of legendary 20th- and 21st-century composers, including György Ligeti, Sofia Gubaidulina, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez. In 2017, they were given the honour of being the first string quartet to perform in the Elbphilharmonie Recital Hall. The Arditti Quartet now returns to that concert hall to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

In two 70-minute segments, the four musicians pack in the most exciting pieces the contemporary music scene has to offer: from the video-animated sounds of Olga Neuwirth and Elliott Carter’s challenging String Quartet No. 3 to the timbral experimentations of Rebecca Saunders, to whom the Elbphilharmonie is dedicating an extensive spotlight this season. In conversation, the musicians also share rare insights into their work and look back at an eventful half a century. A defining moment of contemporary music.


Arditti Quartet

Irvine Arditti violin
Ashot Sarkissjan violin
Ralf Ehlers viola
Lucas Fels violoncello


Jonathan Harvey
String Quartet No. 1

Rebecca Saunders

Elliott Carter
String Quartet No. 5

Iannis Xenakis

– Interval –
Artists’ Talk with the Arditti Quartet (30 minutes)
– Interval –

Olga Neuwirth
In the Realms of the Unreal

Brian Ferneyhough
String Quartet No. 3

Sarah Nemtsov
Neues Werk / Auftragswerk von Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Helmut Lachenmann
String Quartet No. 3 »Grido«

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State of the Art


Hamburg International Music Festival


Rebecca Saunders

Promoter: HamburgMusik

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During your visit

Elbphilharmonie Plaza

A public viewing platform on the 8th floor of the Elbphilharmonie

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Food and Drink

Before the concert and in the interval

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Coughing, clapping, chatting

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